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South City holds off HMB
January 11, 2017, 05:00 AM By Nathan Mollat, Daily Journal

Nathan Mollat/Daily Journal
South City’s Brittney Cedeno scored 15 of her game-high 25 points in the first quarter to lead the Warriors’ to a 49-41 win over Half Moon Bay in the PAL North Division opener for both teams Tuesday night on the San Mateo coast.

Nathan Mollat/Daily Journal Half Moon Bay’s Ally Longaker scores two of her team-high 12 points in the Cougars’ loss to South City Tuesday night.

A fast start can offset a clunky finish and that is precisely what the South City girls’ basketball team did in Half Moon Bay in a 49-41 win over the Cougars in the Peninsula Athletic League North opener Tuesday night.

“I’ll take any win I can against this (Half Moon Bay) team,” said South City coach Paul Carion. “We played not to lose at the end (of the game).”

South City led 18-4 after the first quarter, but Half Moon Bay countered that by outscoring the Warriors 17-6 in the fourth. But an 18-point South City lead going into the final eight minutes proved too much for HMB to overcome.

South City (1-0 PAL North, 10-1 overall) jumped out to a big early lead in the first quarter. After HMB’s Ally Longaker scored the first basket of the game on a putback, South City responded with a 16-0 run to end the first quarter with an 18-4 advantage.

“That first quarter, it was a combo of us missing [easy layups] and them making everything they were shooting,” said HMB coach Antonio Veloso.

Actually, the “they” was, in reality “her,” as in South City guard Brittney Cedeno. After Longaker’s bucket, Cedeno hit back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers on three straight possessions to give the Warriors a quick 9-2 lead.

And Cedeno wasn’t done. She came up with a steal and a layup to put South City up 11-2. After a Jerlene Miller 3, Cedeno knocked down another layup and finished her scoring eruption with another steal and layup to give her 15 of her team’s 18 first-quarter points on 6 of 8 shooting in the period.

“She’s been doing that in big games,” Carion said. “We needed our biggest player to step up.”

Cedeno led all scorers with 25 points on the night.

In the second quarter, HMB (0-1, 8-4) started picking Cedeno up defensively once she got past midcourt and ran two, and sometimes, three defenders at her to force her to give up the ball.

Cedeno is more than willing to share and time and again, she penetrated the Cougars’ defense and dished to a teammate, who, more often than not, missed the shot. Cedeno finished with just one assist for the game, but not for a lack of trying.

“It was more so what they were doing (defensively in the second quarter),” Carion said of Cedeno’s quiet second period. “[The Cougars] were saying, “Anyone but her.’”

The second quarter also saw the Cougars find their rhythm offensively. They started to move the ball much better and with more authority. And those easy buckets that were missed in the first quarter starting falling in the second.

After South City’s Nevaeh Miller scored on a putback to open the second quarter, HMB responded with a 13-1 run. Longaker, who finished with a team-high 12 points, and Ana Cordes each scored five points during the run that saw the Cougars close their deficit to 21-16 with 4:12 left in the first half.

“We looked like a team that knew what it wanted to do offensively (in the second quarter),” Veloso said.

The Cougars went cold for the rest of the period, however, and the Warriors gave themselves some breathing room at halftime, ending the half on a 9-1 run — including Cedeno’s fourth 3-pointer of the half, a 25-footer as the shot clock hit zero — to lead 30-17 at the break.

South City extended its lead in the third. After a Siohban Calhoun scored on a putback to open the third-quarter scoring for the Cougars, Jerlene Miller answered with a putback of her own and Cedeno knocked down her fifth 3 and added a fast-break layup to put the Warriors up 37-19.

South City eventually pushed its lead to 20, 43-23, with 1:26 to play in third before the Cougars turned to what they do best defensively: play the full-court press.

It worked in the fourth quarter as HMB outscored the Warriors 17-6 over the final eight minutes. South City struggled to bring the ball upcourt — even Cedeno, who could not always beat a triple-team. With no secondary ball handler, the Warriors struggled to get into an offensive set. When they did, more often than not, they missed the shot. They were just 3 for 12 from the field in those last eight minutes of the game.

“We couldn’t get that last pass or finish,” Carion said of handling the Cougars’ press. “We did 90 percent of it right (in breaking the press). We just couldn’t make that last pass.”

Veloso said normally he has his team press all game long, but didn’t on this night.

“I over-thought it,” Veloso said. “It’s my fault.”

The Cougars started to slowly and methodically reduce their deficit. Trailing 47-29, HMB scored the next nine points, with Addison Walling and Cordes draining back-to-back 3s, to close to 47-38 with just over a minute to play.

When Walling nailed a 3 from about 27 feet with 31 seconds to play, it cut the South City lead to 49-41, but HMB would get no closer.

“I told the team, ‘A win on the road in league is a good win.’ Especially against this (Half Moon Bay) team,” Carion said. “It’s (about) players making plays and we have the best player (in Cedeno).”



Tags: south, quarter, cedeno, cougars, first, second,

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Raiders cut ties with OC Musgrave
San Mateo County local sports roundup
Boedker’s hat trick leads Sharks

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